Victor Davis Hanson, the right wing whackadoodle so important that he needs three last names, now coins a new conservative dog-whistle: "retrograde tribalism".
Ethnic politics have always been a facet of American politics. But recently the frightened Obama reelection campaign seems to be going to unusual lengths to appeal overtly to voters by virtue of Obama’s race — a sort of retrograde tribalism that Obama in 2004 promised that we would transcend.Mr. Hanson then thunders on about the unspeakable horror of Lovie Smith, coach of the Chicago Bears, saying on an Obama campaign video:
I have the president’s back and it’s left up to us, as African Americans, to show that we have his back. Also join African Americans for President Obama today.You can see this video below the Squiggle of Doom and judge for yourself.
It's a quiet, tasteful expression of support by a successful and well-respected African-American, who makes a sincere call for other African-Americans to join with him. But it seems for Mr. Hanson, it's a call for servile insurrection, although being, you know, a scholar of ancient Greece, Mr. Hanson uses a different analogy:
Lovie Smith should read Procopius on the Nika riots and the volatile intersection between sport, faction, and politics.The Nika Riots (from nika, an ancient Greek rallying cry roughly equivalent to "kick some butt") were an event that resulted in thousands of deaths and widespread destruction of property in Constantinople in CE 532. This was a situation close to, if not the equivalent of civil war. They originated in the Circus which was the only place where political opinions could be safely voiced by the choosing of competitors to support.
Let's be forthright here. By drawing an analogy to the Nika riots, Mr. Hanson is saying in his sly professorial way that Lovie Smith is stirring up deadly political violence.
But I would remind the historian Mr. Hanson that the foundations of the Capitol and of the White House were literally laid by slaves, of a people whose freedom and labor was stolen from them for 250 years, and whose rights were taken from them for another 100 to 150 years. It's entirely appropriate that Lovie Smith call upon African-Americans to support the president under these circumstances.